why would a car die while driving

FAQ-51 My car dies, stalls or loses power while I'm driving. When a car dies and stalls or loses power while under power, it has
to be related to the absence of fuel or spark. Here's a couple of questions you can answer that will help the shop find and fix your problem: What happens if you floor the accelerator? If the engine dies quicker, that would indicate a lack of fuel. Do you ever see black smoke coming from the tailpipe, if so when? This typically indicates the abundance of fuel or the lack of spark. Backfiring with black tailpipe smoke means the spark just came back, backfiring with no black smoke means a lean condition or the absence of fuel. When it dies, does it start right back up? If so, that usually means the problem is electrical 'cause the absence of fuel typically creates the need to crank the car longer until the fuel system re-primes its self. If it won't start right back up, if you let it sit for 5 minutes, will it now start? This usually indicates a bad fuel pump. Does the amount of fuel in your gas tank have anything to do with the frequency of the problem? If the problem happens much more often with the fuel tank at or near 1/4 as opposed to the problem happening far less when the tank is over 3/4, that points directly to the fuel pump, IF it is located in the tank. Last but not least, if the engine dies and won't restart, the driver can help the shop a lot if they are willing to be taught how to quickly determine what is missing, fuel or spark. The driver can be taught how to use an old spark plug to test for spark. You can be taught how to spray carb cleaner into the air filter area in an effort to see if an alternate source of fuel will allow the engine to start and run for a second or two until it uses up the fuel sprayed into the air cleaner.


This would show fuel starvation as the problem. If the problem is simply the engine loses power, a plugged catalytic converter can also cause that problem. A shop can test the cat by drilling a small 1/4 hole in the pipe just in front of and behind the cat. With the engine in park, raise the rpms to 2,000 and feel the air or exhaust coming out of both holes. Is exhaust coming out of the front hole at a higher speed and at a larger volume than the rear hole? If there is an obvious difference of pressure between the two drilled holes, the cat is plugged and needs to be replaced. If you decide to do your own test, you can close up the two drilled holes afterwards either by having someone weld them up ($10-20) or simply screwing a big sheet metal screw into the hole. Copyright 1997-2000, Mark Salem, Salem Boys Auto, All Rights Reserved A car that stalls while youre driving is a dangerous situation no matter where it happens. If youre in traffic; even slow traffic, and your car stallsPyou might get rear-ended. PPIf it stalls on thePhighway, you could be involved in a very serious accident. P If your car stalls, check out theP 6 most common reasons why, how to diagnose the problem and resolve itPbefore you cause an accident. A bad battery is one of the most common reasons that cars stall. Most people think that if a battery is dead, the car won t start. Truth is, ifPyour battery is going bad, your car willPrun but you re at risk of stalling out. When your battery is not putting out enough power, the alternator has to work harder to keep the engine running. PWhen the alternator overworks, it stresses the car s engine. It is the stress on your car s engine that actually causes your car to stall out; so it s a domino effect.


Or,PPcould also be that the terminals are corroded and need to be cleaned or replaced. The battery is what powers your cars electrical system, so if its bad then the system wont get enough voltage, or the battery may even short out and cause intermittent problems on your battery. It is easyPwith a First, turn the car engine and headlights off. PPNext, pop the hood and connect the voltmeter to the terminals on the battery. ConnectPthe positive clamp on the voltmeter to the positive terminal on the battery. Then, connect the negative clamp to the negative terminal. Car batteries hold 12. 66 volts. Therefore, a reading of 12. 66 volts on the voltmeter means that your battery if fully charged. If the voltmeter gives a reading lower than 12. 45 volts, your battery needs to be recharged. Unfortunately, there is usually no warning when your fuel pump is dulling. PThe first time you will notice any problem is after the car stalls. P When itPstalls out due to a bad fuel pump, you will not be able to restart the car. The makes a slight buzzing noise when it is running. If you don t hear any noise coming from the fuel tank when you try to start your car, it is likely that you have a bad fuel pump. Since you can t start your car, your only option will be to have it towed to an When there is too much moisture in the gas, it doesn t burn properly disrupting enginePperformance. PIf your car was running fine until the last time you filled up your gas tank, thePproblem is most likely caused by too much moisture in the gas. There are two ways twoPfix this issue. The first is to drain the gas tank. After the gas tank is drained, fill it back up with fresh gas. The second method is to take your chances with the bad gas.


Drive your car until it has used up all the bad gas. Then, fill your tank back up at a different gas station. If you ve ruled out the reasons above, bad wiring could be to blame. To find out if itsPbad wiring, check the idle speed control system. You want to ensure that the wires are connected properly. You also want to make sure that they are not starting to corrode. If you notice corrosion, its time to replace the wires. If your car only stalls out while going up or down hills, low fuel pressure is the reason. WithoutPenough fuel pressure, your car will not run reliably. Even if you have low fuel pressure, your car can runPnormally on levelPground, but as soon as you head uphill, your car will probably stall without enough pressure. PPLuckily,Pthis Pis one of the easiest problems to fix. Try adding some fuel injector cleaner to your gas tank. The distributor cap plays a vital role in the health of your engine. APcap is used in an toPcoverPa car sPdistributor, and its internal rotor. PThe distributor cap deliversPvoltage to the spark plugs. If the wiring is bad or the rotors become clogged, it can throw the timing off. PThe spark plug will misfire if the timing is wrong. These misfires cause cars toPstall. Take a look at your distributor cap. PMake sure that it is cleanPand showingPno signs of corrosion. Don t worry if you re uncertain about where the distributor cap is. P is happy to check this, and all other auto parts for you as part ofPour inspection service so you can walk away with some peace of mind that your car isn t going to stall again while driving. P To schedule an inspection, call 702-255-4090 or click the button to schedule conveniently online!

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